Volunteer in Nepal to participate in several community projects in locations throughout Nepal. These projects are aimed at promoting social wellbeing through teaching, cultural exchange and tackling healthcare issues. Projects include working in daycare centres, teaching English in government schools, reforestation & farming projects, school painting and healthcare volunteering in medical camps.
You can join for 2 weeks up to 4 months all year round and we have places all throughout 2015 and 2016 available.
Individuals, groups, students and families all welcome.
Cost for food, lodging in homestay within local community, guided sightseeing, airport pickup, materials and training start; from £428.
Volunteers are needed to help on the following projects in Nepal. You are welcome to spend time on more than one project during your stay, although some projects have minimum durations and varied availability.
Volunteers are needed to teach English as a foreign language in government run schools in Kathmandu, in Pokhara between the Rupa & Bengas lakes, and in Gerkhu, in the foothills of the Himalayas, North of Kathmandu. These schools provide basic education for children typically from the poorer families of Nepal, who cannot afford private options. In many schools in Nepal, there is a lack of experienced English teachers, and your assistance as a volunteer English teacher will be invaluable in helping improve the childrens' English reading and writing abilities, which is a vital skill in the Nepalese job market or in pursuing education.
Volunteers ideally need some previous teaching experience, but simply talking with the children, reading stories, encouraging them to develop their English skills, and even singing, will make a huge difference. As a volunteer English teacher, you will find all students are very happy to engage you in conversation to practice their skills, so you will be busy most of the time. It is also encouraged for volunteers to bring your own ideas to the placement, and all new ideas are always welcome. Please note that to minimise disruption to the students, volunteers need to commit to at least 4 weeks for the teaching projects. This project is available year round, except during the school holidays and exam periods.
Project available year round, except from January to mid-April, and mid-June to mid-July.
Nepal Earthquake update: For the moment the farming projects below are on hold, as many of the villages we work with have had their homes destroyed and are working to rebuild. If you are interested in helping as a construction volunteer, please see the next project.
This is a cultural placement for people who want to experience the hard life of rural Nepal, where the majority of people still farm using traditional methods. This project is very hard work and not for the faint hearted, but it shows the reality of life in rural Nepal.This project involves working with local farmers that rely on their land to sustain themselves and their families. Volunteers live with the families and help work the land, feed the animals and make repairs to fields and structures.
You will live alongside a family and help them work in the nearby rice fields. Placements are available in several locations including the terai of Chitwan in southern Nepal, and the foothills of the Himalayas near Gerkhu. By becoming a part of the family you will truly experience the real life of Nepal and its people. Depending on the season you will do many different jobs, from milking the buffalo, to planting rice, or cutting grown rice and carrying to the house where it’s beaten by hand. There is always something to do on the farm, but you will have plenty of time to relax and chat to the locals, and have the chance to experience the local community.
Project available year round, but the best time to come is generally in April or October, which is when the rice is harvested & planted.
Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal, many of the rural villages we work with to send volunteers had their homes destroyed. We have been working with them since the earthquake to send donations and relief supplies, and are now planning to send volunteers to help with rebuilding efforts.
In October 2015 we sent engineers for initial assessments and now have some new earthquake proof house designs ready to use. The new houses won't have stone walls, they will have hollow woven bamboo walls with clay on the outside which looks the same but is much lighter and stronger, and resilient to future quakes. The new design uses a woven bamboo wall on both the inside and outside creating an air gap for insulation while keeping the structure light and flexible, and capable of withstanding earthquakes up to 9 on the Richter scale.
Volunteers need to have some building experience and be prepared to live in either tents or tin shacks for the duration of their stay. The most useful skill would be carpentry as a large percentage of the building is either wood or bamboo but we will also be doing foundations and roofing on the homes.
We are looking for volunteers to come to Nepal for at least one month & help as carpenters and builders to help construct the new homes starting from November 2015 onwards until May 2016 at the latest. After April the villages will be getting their rice fields ready for the monsoon rains in May and the planting in June so we won't be able to work on building homes.
This project involves working with children in Nepal. We currently work with a few specific locations, including an all girl's home for abandoned children in Kathmandu, a daycare centre near Bengas lake in Pokhara for local families who need a safe place for their children to go while they are at work (age 1 to 3yrs), and a centre for 11 disabled children who are unable to attend school near Boudha in Kathmandu. We work with daycare centres only rather than orphanages due to the problems that can be associated with childcare programmes in Nepal (we recommend you do some google research on any overseas orphanage project thoroughly!).
At the project near Boudha, we are looking for volunteers to help look after 10 to 15 disabled children in Kathmandu helping with daily chores such as studying, fun, games and some basic physiotherapy through games and sport. As a volunteer your duties will be to welcome the children in everyday to play music and games to help with them learn and develop. You will also be required to help clean the home and children, prepare and serve lunch. On some days the children will watch a DVD and on others they may play volleyball or catch in the garden. A lot will depend on the time of year and weather. This position is a full time project meaning volunteers will help 6 days a week with Saturdays off but you will have time off during the day to use internet or do laundry. You are also only about a 15 minute walk from Boudha the biggest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and about 30 to 40 minutes from Pashupatinath, the main Hindu temple of Nepal.
Project available year round except during festivals & holidays (the main festival period is usually over October-November, which includes Dashain & Tihar).
We currently offer two projects for medical volunteers in Nepal; working in a Government hospital in Pokhara, and medical treks where we establish health camps in rural areas
Volunteering in a Government hospital in Pokhara
We place medical students as volunteers in a Government run hospital in Pokhara. This is a very large & busy hospital with many departments that volunteers can work in. To give you an idea of the hospital's size, the hospital delivers over 30 babies every day. Being government funded the hospital is grateful for outside assistance, and part of your volunteering fee is used as a donation to the hospital. Joining this project is a way to experience how the Nepali healthcare system works, and you should be prepared to be flexible & self motivated working in very challenging conditions.
This project is only suitable for medical students/graduates (or a similar field), and we require a letter from your university to accept volunteers. There is a minimum stay of 4 weeks for this project, but it is available all year round.
Medical treks & establishing rural health camps
In some of the more remote and rural areas or Nepal, without medical care people can die from even basic ailments. As such, scheduled visits by first aid trained volunteers and those with a medical background can be vital in providing the basic care needed for local people, who are often unable to otherwise see a professional doctor or visit a hospital or clinic at all.
We run medical camps, where we send qualified doctors, first aiders and nurses into villages where there is no real professional medical care. Volunteers help to provide basic first aid & medical education to the population, to record healthcare data and identify any issues which may be specific to the area, do basic testing (e.g. blood pressure, blood glucose, hearing) and so on. Each camp is around 5-6 volunteers, and are usually accompanied by either Nepali doctors or a translator, and travel together as a group, trekking and then setting up the camps, although in some cases we set up only a single camp for the full period, to ensure people are able to return to us for second treatments & to see as many people as possible. It’s very challenging work, but an effective way of providing healthcare to remote areas. A recent trek in July 2014 saw over 600 people come along to be treated by our volunteers in Phulasi District.
As a healthcare volunteer you will be working in quite challenging conditions, talking with patients and experiencing rural life in Nepal. No day will be the same, so be prepared to test your first aid knowledge. This placement is for qualified medical professionals (doctors, nurses etc.), medical students or those who want the experience of working in developing healthcare in basic conditions in a very remote location. This project runs in a range of different locations in Nepal. However each trek is organised on a case by case basis depending on volunteer numbers & the needs of the community, so availability varies from year to year. Generally we hold 2-3 treks per year, and each trek usually lasts at least 3 weeks. Please note there are no camps planned until March 2016. For any questions about the treks or if you are interested please email Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org
Throught the year we also run some fixed-date projects. These are only available at certain times of the year & are well suited for small groups of volunteers. On our school painting projects, volunteers work towards improving the school atmosphere through exterior and interior artwork, paiting designs & renovations. Volunteers are also encouraged to paint educational and colourful designs to brighten up the schools.
In 2014 volunteers have painted schools in Pokhara during the school holidays, which we feel helps to stimulate the children in their studies while giving them and staff a better environment to teach and learn. Future school painting projects will involve painting schools in Kaski district, central Nepal. The projects run twice a year when the school children are on holiday. This is because we don’t want to disrupt the children while they are learning and it makes it much easier for the volunteers. The school painting projects are available from mid-March to mid-April and mid-June to mid-July each year.
Also we have recently established a reforestation project in collaboration with WCN Nepal. Volunteers work together with local people, planting trees to help reforest areas and in order to help the community to restore their resources and help sustain local wildlife. Reforestation also helps prevent landslides and river bank erosion. On our most recent project we planted over 3000 trees in the Terai, helping to improve the local environment, reduce landslides & provide a resource for local people.
Tree planting projects are only available from June - August, just before Monsoon season so the saplings have a stronger survival rate.
Please note that on all of the above Nepal volunteering projects, you will receive full support from both the in country Volunteer Coordinator and local staff.
You can volunteer in Nepal for 2 weeks up to 4 months in duration, year round. We are flexible with dates and can accommodate as well, so you do not necessarily have to arrive on the dates below. Please email email@example.com if you have specific questions about dates.
15th to 31st December
1st to 15th January 2016
15th to 31st January 2016
1st to 15th February 2016
15th to 29th February 2016
1st to 15th March 2016
15th to 31st March 2016
1st to 15th April 2016
15th to 30th April 2016
1st to 15th May 2016
15th to 31st May 2016
1st to 15th June 2016
15th to 30th June 2016
1st to 15th July 2016
15th to 31st July 2016
1st to 15th August 2016
15th to 31st August 2016
The costs for volunteering in Nepal are as follows: 2 weeks is £428, 3 weeks is £512, 4 weeks is £596, 5 weeks is £680, 6 weeks is £764 and each extra week costs £84 (the maximum you can stay at this project is 16 weeks). For medical volunteers who want to join the hospital in Pokhara, the cost is slightly higher at £670 for 4 weeks (please email firstname.lastname@example.org for prices for longer durations).
The above costs cover airport pick up when you arrive, taxis around Kathmandu, hotel stays for 2 to 3 nights in Kathmandu to settle in before you head out to your placement, guided sightseeing in Kathmandu, bus transfers to and from your placement, support from our partner organisation in Nepal and WorkingAbroad Projects, and all food and accommodation. What is not included is your flights and travel to and from Nepal, visa costs, personal expenses, and your own health and travel insurance.
Please note that certain projects have varied availability & durations, and you can also combine various projects. If you have any questions about the project, or joining for a different duration please email email@example.com.
Food and Accommodation
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, volunteers are taken from the airport to a guest house for 2 to 3 days, for some some sightseeing and to acclimatise. You will then be transferred to the placement of your choice. Here you will stay with a carefully selected host family, at least one of whom speak English. This will give you the opportunity to experience the real life of a Nepalese family and the local community. All meals will be provided by your host family. For some projects you may be provided accommodation within the school or daycare, but the experience will be a similar one.
Type of Volunteers needed
Volunteers should be aged 17 years upwards and speak English. All nationalities are welcome. Volunteers do not need any specific skills or qualifications (except for the medical & teaching projects), but any skills you do have will be useful for the projects. For the projects in the hospital in Pokhara, volunteers should be currently studying or have graduated in medicine or a similar field. We will also require you to provide us ith a reference letter from your university.
Volunteers should be self motivated, adaptable and flexible and willing to live and work in rustic conditions, particularly for the Traditional Farming Project. Projects are often located in rural, isolated villages and volunteers should be independent and mature, and able to manage with basic amenities, and limited access to modern facilities.
The quickest and simplest route is to fly to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. It is also possible to enter Nepal via India, though this takes longer. The main Airlines arriving in Kathmandu are Thai Airlines, Qatar, Etihad and Jet Airways, which is usually the cheapest option. Upon arrival at the airport, you can easily obtain a standard tourist Visa with no restrictions, which will take around 15 minutes. Visa costs are $25 for 15 Days, $40 for 30 Days, $100 for 90 Days and $2 per day thereafter. Indian nationals do not require a Visa.
Safety and Security
We have friendly staff experienced in supporting international volunteers and we will ensure you are living and working in a secure and safe environment.
Communications and Health
In most areas where we work in Nepal there is always access to communication either by phone or Internet, so it's easy to keep in touch with friends and family. We also provide the number of our Volunteer Coordinator in Kathmandu in case of emergencies if need be.
It is advised that you visit your doctor before departing for Nepal to get the most up to date information on possible vaccinations required. A course of Injections typically takes around 6 weeks. In Nepal, there are pharmacies in every town, and the Project Manager also had direct contact with doctors if required for volunteers.
Below is an interactive map showing the locations of the projects:
Video Interview with a previous teaching volunteer on the project
Nepal, bordered by India to the South and China to the North, is a country diverse in it's climate, peoples and culture. It is where the cold peaks of the Himalayas, containing seven of the world's ten highest mountains, including Mt. Everest, meet the steamy heat of the Indian plains, where some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world roam in the jungle regions around Chitwan. Nepals rich cultural, artistic and architectural heritage stems from the three historic kingdoms which developed in the Kathmandu valley, and the religious history of the region.
Gautama Buddha, one of the major contributors to buddhist philosophy, was born in Nepal. Nepal is also one of the poorest countries in the world, particularly in rural areas, where literacy and health are poor compared with urban centres. However, the Nepalese are a friendly, compassionate people, and the traditional Nepali teaching 'atithi devo vawa' (guests are the form of god), is one which the Nepalese subscribe to.
You can read more about Nepal under:
Wayne Bond, volunteered in November 2014
My time in Nepal was amazing and one I look to do again within 2 years or so.
The project was brief but I managed to get a lot of experience as far as the education process of the country. It is a very different system than the one we have in the United States and it was a good experience being able to see teachers doing all they can with little resources available.
The children of the school were very brilliant with many having better hand writing skills than most U.S. students that I have seen. The school staff did a great job at making feel welcome along with my home stay family which I already miss dearly.
Phil is doing a great work with this program and I would recommend the experience for anyone who is looking to step off the beaten path and experience what life is like in a country that is looking to make progress.
Video Interview with volunteer Maxine Lee-Morath, from Australia
David and Lauren Scruggs, Volunteered in February 2013
For my daughter's 18th birthday I promised to take her anywhere or do anything she wanted. When the answer was I want to do volunteer working Nepal it literally brought tears to my eyes.
I was impressed with the projects available and my daughter and I opted to work at the Daycare Center in the Chitwan region. Admittedly, we were both a bit scared of the unknown on our way out to Nepal. We are both seasoned travellers but this was the first time we travelled to a less developed country and neither of us knew what to expect.
We were greeted at the airport by staff and we immediately put at ease. Despite the somewhat different (read nail-biting) drive from the airport to the hotel, we settled in and were accompanied by Phil into Kathmandu for a quick visit and a bite to eat. The first night was a shocker and an eye-opener having seen kids no more than 10 years old living on the street, camping by fires and sniffing glue to stay warm. The constant barking of the numerous wild dogs and the images of street kids made sleep that night hard to find.
The next day we were greeted by Phil and Sunju in the hotel. Sunju spent the day taking us around Kathmandu to temples, museums and markets. It was a pleasure to see Kathmandu in the daytime and we quickly felt more at ease with the environment. Phil and Sunju made sure we felt comfortable and that was well received by both my daughter and myself. We then took a bus to Chitwan where we were met by our homestay family.
They brought us to our room and we rested up. They immediately made us feel at home and looked after us like family. We worked for week at the Daycare Center and working with the kids and staff was an absolute delight. From playing with them to teaching them the alphabet, washing their faces to fixing lunches, it was all just an amazing experience. Dilu and Binu (our homestay Dad and Mom) made our stay in Chitwan an excellent experience. We even had time for a few elephant safaris and jungle walks. To top it off they organized the biggest and best18th birthday party anyone could have ever imagined, with several people from the village over dancing and sharing local tradition with Lauren.
I was speechless. I was moved by the poverty. I was moved by the beauty. I was moved by how happy and friendly people can be when they have so little. Kids playing hacky sack with makeshift elastic band balls, families and friends just sitting and talking, people working on the farms, in the numerous little home shops... everything just seemed to be in harmony. For our second week we decided to travel and see some of the rest of Nepal. For the first time in 20 odd years Dilu left Binu for more than the day and came with us. He took us to Bandipur and to Pokhara looking out for us and taking us to visit some of the most amazing places we have ever seen. Upon our return to Kathmandu we met up with Phil and he found us another hotel on my request away from the howling dogs, he brought us there and made sure we got settled in before meeting up with us later that night to enjoy dinner with some new volunteers.
I spent a lot of time talking to the projet staff and I am moved by their dedication and their selflessness. They work hard and make sure that the volunteers have an excellent experience... while helping people in Nepal get access to education, medical care, shelter, and some of their ideas and new projects on how to help Nepal have captivated me.
I would like thank everyone for making this experience possible. I highly recommend for any volunteer looking to help people and gain an amazing and unforgettable experience.
Katie Polloway, from the UK, volunteered for 1 month
I firstly started off in Chitwan, helping out in the Sauhara Day Care Centre! This was an amazing experience, I was very emotional leaving the kids every day. They were so lovely to be around, including the staff working there – Binu and the two other girls. I had to do the alphabet with them, nursery rhymes, numbers etc. I also played with them, ball games and just general playing about, as well as helping to serve them lunch.
I then helped out in a School in Kathmandu, this was very different compared to the Day Care Centre but it was lovely getting to know different cultures and also working with different ages. I felt very respected by the school children.
I also did many activities such as elephant bathing, sight seeing, visiting temples, markets, shopping malls, and many more. It was an amazing experience, and made me see life from a different world.
I found it very emotional seeing how people have to life compared to other countries like the UK. Every single person I met out there was lovely and welcoming, I did not come across any rude people at all throughout my whole trip!
Edward Beavan, from the UK, volunteered for 2 weeks in August 2012
In August I spent two weeks working at the Sauraha Daycare Centre, I found working with the children very gratifying and emotional, as I believed I was making a difference to the children’s lives and hopefully to their future.
When I arrived in Kathmandu it was the start of the Chitwan Festival and I thank the staff, Phil, Raj and Sahrita for whisking me off, altering all previous timetables, for me to experience the culture of the festival, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
During my stay in Chitwan I experienced washing elephants and I was lucky enough to watch a rare one horned rhino calf and its mother, as well as a multitude of other wild birds and animals.
The staff were very helpful and were always thinking of me, making sure I was ok and that I was enjoying myself. When I first arrived in Nepal and was greeted by the staff, I could really sense that this was an organisation who are dedicated to helping others and that really shone through. When I was with them, they were always thinking of different ways they can help more Nepalese people and to me this was wonderful, to see people so dedicated to helping others. So if you are looking for a truly memorable, fantastic experience, helping others less fortunate than us, then I definitely recommend the project.
Julia Breuer, from the UK, volunteered on the project in Nepal for 1 month in October 2012
I went to Nepal for a month and booked my placement through Working Abroad Projects. From the outset I found everyone friendly, approachable and professional. When I booked my placement for voluntary work, a member of staff called me and answered all the queries I had. I stayed with a family in the Chitwan area and volunteered at the daycare centre there for pre-schoolers. The work was really rewarding and I shared a lot of laughs with the kids, despite the language barrier!
The homestay that I stayed with were so welcoming and made me feel like part of the family. It was such an eye-opener to see how a Nepali family live day to day. It helped that the mum of the family was an amazing cook and I watched her a couple of times to get a few tips.
I was also lucky enough to be in Nepal when Dashain (a religious festival) was on. During this time I stayed with Sarita's family and had a lovely time celebrating with them. Again, they were really welcoming and included the other volunteers and I in all the rituals involved with the celebration.
I will never forget my time in Nepal. On the first night, all the volunteers and staff went out for dinner, so you got to know like-minded people straight away and never really felt on your own. The flexibility of the project made the trip even more enjoyable as I knew that if there were any problems or if I wanted to move to another placement I could, and this gave me peace of mind.
To secure a placement volunteering in Nepal, please complete and submit the form including two references and your application payment of £180. If for some reason, your application is not accepted, we will reimburse this payment fully. However for those who are accepted, the final amount needs to be paid one month before departure. Once you are confirmed on the project, you will receive pre-departure information with all details on your project, when to arrive, contact details, suggested items to bring, programme information and lots more.